Identifying true dwarfs

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LadyGrey

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A question to those much more experienced breeders out there who work with holland lops and other dwarf breeds. After scouring the internet I haven't found much help on learning how to identify your true dwarf kits from your false. I've even contacted other local breeders in my area and was given some fairly poor help. One said, "Their all dwarfs." Another said you can't tell until their 3-4 months old and that she's had dwarfs with narrow heads and some with long feet. Not to mention the does I got for my breeding program I was told they were true dwarfs, but now all 4 have broken 4lbs one even tipped the scale at 5lbs.

I believe my buck is a true dwarf as he is just shy of 3lb, his head does look more round and big and however all my does hit 4lbs. So I've been having a hard time figuring out which does should be my keepers, and if there is a way I can identify true dwarfs before 8 weeks of age.

Out of the 3 litters I have has so far I've seen 2 stillborns, now I've heard peanuts can be stillborn, but can peanut kits be... large? The only kits I have seen stillborn were considerably larger than the other kits.
 

SableSteel

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Hollands have a lot of normal sized stillborns as well. the majority of peanuts are noticeably smaller but the best way to tell a peanut is to look at the ear shape. Peanuts have tiny, triangular shaped ears. Other stillborns and runts should have normal ears. The best way to tell if a rabbit is a true dwarf or false dwarf is by comparison. If you get both of those in the same litter its pretty noticeable. The true dwarfs will have shorter ears and shorter limbs, already looking more like breed type even at the younger age. The 5 lb rabbit is not likely a true dwarf unless she is also like obese. Let me see if I have some pictures of true and false dwarf kits together
 

LadyGrey

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My last 2 litters their all 21 days old now. My first litter I tried to make good guesses, judging by the spherical shape of their faces and length of their ears only to discover almost all of their noses sorta popped out by the 6th week. All the bunnies from one litter have rounded ears the other seems to have more pointy ears to me. I wouldn't say my 5lb doe is obese she has almost no dew lap, but she's definitely a big girl. She feels powerful and can easily jump 3 1/2 feet vertically. Thanks for the help this has been bugging me for ages.
 

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SableSteel

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That rabbit in that last picture shows all the classic signs of a false dwarf holland. Long head, long ears and long (yet thick and well furred) front legs. Young hollands do go through an ugly stage where even the true dwarfs will look a bit gangly. When that happens and to what degree depends a lot on the line though so I can't tell you too much. Asking the breeder you got your stock from might have a better answer as they'd be familiar with the lines.
 

SableSteel

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And you can't tell if they are true dwarfs or false dwarfs when they are tiny little babies. When I bred dwarfs I could usually tell with fairly decent certainty around 4-6 weeks. But somebody with more experience with those breeds and lines might be able to tell even sooner.
 

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